Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

Mental health is just as important as physical health to a child's well-being.

I have some concerns, what do I do next?

When you have concerns about your child’s behavior in school or are worried that their mental health problems may be interfering with their academic performance, the best thing to do first is to talk to your child’s teacher. Your child spends most of their day in school and teachers are able to observe your child in a classroom setting and in settings with other children. Creating an open dialogue with your child’s teacher early in the school year or as soon as you become concerned about your child will help you address your concerns in a timely manner. Do your best to attend parent-teacher conferences. Ask questions by sending notes, writing emails or meeting with your child’s teacher in person when you have concerns. By forming a strong collaborative relationship with your child’s teacher and taking an active interest in their school performance, you will be in a good position to understand what issues your child might be facing in the classroom setting. Often, there are other support staff you can talk to as well, including assistant teachers or aides, gym teachers, monitors, school resource staff, guidance counselors, and school psychologists or social workers. These staff members may have an opportunity to observe or interact with your child outside the classroom setting and provide additional information about your child’s behavior and interactions with others. If you feel you have done your best to get your child the help and support he or she needs, and you still have concerns, there are more formal ways you can request evaluation and help by seeking services for children with mental health issues and/or disabilities that are interfering with their education.

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